A month after the Evian Championship was controversially reduced by a round, another women’s major, this time on the KLPGA, has been shortened to 54 holes. But the reason is a lot more bizarre than bad weather.
As Reuters reports, the KB Financial Star Championship, one of the KLPGA’s five major championships, has scrubbed all of its first-round scores and made the tournament 54 holes after a rules controversy that threatened to engulf the event.
The trouble started when Hye-Jin Choi and Park You-na were hit with two-shot penalties after the opening round. Both were docked for marking their ball and picking it up improperly. They had believed their balls on the green, but they were in fact on the fringe.
Choi had been co-leading at 6 under prior to the penalty.
Then matters really took a turn. The KLPGA proceeded to discover four other players made the same error. The tournament’s rules committee decided those golfers should not be penalized and any penalties already issued would be rescinded.
“The committee discussed the matter and decided to rescind the penalties issued to (Hye-Jin Choi) and Park You-na and decided not to impose penalties on the four other players,” an anonymous KLPGA official told Reuters.
After that, chaos ensued.
According to Reuters, that news led to a players meeting, where some vocalized quitting from the event if the penalties were rescinded and others made the same threat if the penalties were enforced.
The issue was discussed again on Friday, and in a bind the KLPGA decided to cancel all scores from the opening round.
The controversy led to the resignation of leading rules official Choi Jin-ha. The KLPGA also apologized to players, fans and sponsors for the situation.
”We will do better to meet the expectations of those who love the KLPGA and will do our best to prevent similar cases from happening again,” the KLPGA said in a statement.